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Cleveland Is A True Classic!

by Leeann Mione

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland Classic Horse Show is one of those shows that has such a devoted group of supporters that, rain or shine, they are always determined to have a good time. This year, "shine" was the operative word the last weekend in June as the thunderstorms that threatened Saturday evening never really materialized and the show went off without a hitch.

Show manager Jack Thrane and show secretary Patti Schooley joined forces to make sure things ran smoothly and accommodate requests. With the help of a hard working group of supporters from UPHA Chapter 13 and the Cleveland Classic Horse Show, the goal of raising money for the show while showing exhibitors, owners, trainers, spectators and vendors a good time was certainly achieved.

The "Paddock Club" tent provided a great location ringside; it was the perfect place to gather each evening for the many social events. The exhibitors' party on Friday evening at Cleveland is legendary among those who have attended in the past. The steak dinner, available refreshments and the chance to just relax and hang out after the show to listen to music and dance, drew a big crowd again this year.

The ice cream social was also a crowd pleasing event. But one of the most amazing things about the show is the fact that unlike most shows, where it seems people just can't get packed up fast enough, the group at Cleveland gathered at the Paddock Club Saturday night rather than head back to their barns. It was as if they didn't want the great weekend to end and decided to put off the tearing down drudgery until another day, rather than miss a chance to enjoy the camaraderie.

Dick Obenauf, fresh off a hugely successful show at Midwest Charity, made the trip from McHenry, Ill., to judge the Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Morgans and equitation classes. He had plenty of world's champion horses and riders to choose from and he did a great job of keeping the already easy schedule moving quickly.

Obenauf was joined in center ring by announcer David Rice, of Bowling Green, Ohio, and organist Amy Paradise of New Waterford, Ohio. Sandra Hall made the trip from Chesterfield, S.C., to capture the special moments on film. Tom Ferrebee served as stable manager and the Sharon Center Veterinary Clinic was the horse show's official veterinarian.

Let's face it, money talks and the chance to earn extra "Show For The Dough" money in the Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited and Fine Harness Championships drew five, three and five entries, respectively, for the chance put some extra cash in trainers' pockets. Each of the open championships offered $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for a third place finish to the trainers of those horses.

Thanks to Lisa May and Jim Salerno Pontiac, Jenny Taylor, Steve Demjen and Bob Phillips were all $300 richer by the close of the show.

Steve Lehr and Sandra Benko held the winning 50-50 raffle ticket which paid them $1000 and gave $1000 to the show. A total of only 200 tickets was sold and they were sold out shortly before the drawing Saturday evening.

Vicki Spoonster was a big part of UPHA Chapter 13 and the Cleveland Classic Horse Show and she had a very large and devoted group of students, fans, friends and supporters. A special presentation was made Saturday evening to announce that the Vicki Spoonster Memorial Perpetual Trophy will be awarded next year in the Three-Gaited Championship in honor of Spoonster's two great loves; equitation and a good walk-trot horse.

Great friends make good company and great horses and riders make a good horse show and Cleveland Classic had plenty of talented teams gracing the ring to make for an entertaining show.

Saturday evening’s Five-Gaited Stake featured five entries including Beringer Red and Jenny Taylor, Aristocrat’s Gallant Warrior and Tom Dunaway, Dollar For Dollar and Steve Demjen, Nightly News and Beth Miller and Callaway’s On Line with Chip Wise.

Beringer Red came into the class with the win from the open class under his belt and Dollar For Dollar had won the ladies class with owner Lisa May riding. Steve Demjen teamed up with Dollar For Dollar in the championship and the class turned into a battle between these two entries. Three more talented teams also showed up for the challenge, only adding to this exciting class.

In what turned out to be an evening of perfect weather after earlier threats of thunderstorms, the entertaining class closed the show on a high note as the group worked hard to claim the final winning decision from judge Richard Obenauf. Cleveland Classic is a favorite of many of the exhibitors and trainers who attend each year, so the title of Five-Gaited Grand Champion is highly coveted.

When Obenauf turned in his card, it was the big striding, hard charging Beringer Red called out to take another Five-Gaited Championship victory pass for Fred and Phyllis Rhue. Dollar For Dollar, owned by Lisa May, was reserve and to the delight of the crowd, the friendly rivalry seen in the class between Taylor and Demjen continued during the victory pass.

Demjen and Taylor lapped the ring side by side to a huge ovation from the crowd, then Demjen exited so that Beringer Red could make a solo victory pass, adding one more title to their total this season.

On The Wings Of The Dove was in top order with Vernon Wise riding under the direction of Rick Peel to win both the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier. Callaway’s Wish Me Luck was reserve in the championship with Sarah Grimm in the irons.

Allie Dunaway rode Heir Of Fashion to the tricolor in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship, with Ethereal and Ashley Smalley claiming the reserve tricolor, after having won the qualifier.

Pretty Sharp Cookie took the title in the Junior/Limit Five-Gaited class with Steve Demjen riding for Dr. Bill Clem.

One of the stars of the division was Brookhill’s King Of Kool. Shortly after Jim Taylor came through the gate with Tim and Marty Shea’s three-year-old, the crowd that was gathered around the rail grew as everyone, it seemed, wanted to see Taylor ride the gaited competitor. Three nice youngsters competed in the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic but the flashy King of Kool was not to be denied. Obenauf named him the winner of the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic to close out the five-gaited division.

CH Caramac’s Norma Rae and Stacey Bare have had a successful season so far and they came back in the Three-Gaited Championship after having qualified in the ladies class. They were joined by Brian Yount and Junior/Limit winner Two For The Show and Our Beloved with Jamie Wise Lanier. Norma Rae and Bare were at the top of their game for the win under the direction of Steve Demjen. Our Beloved claimed the reserve title for Lanier.

Albelarm Radiant Lady made a single appearance with Bob Phillips riding and took the blue ribbon in the open class for owner Louis Novak.

Callaway’s Dubonnet has showcased her talents and versatility this season with wins in more than one division with owner Kristy Wallace and they added the blue ribbon from the ladies class to their resume under the direction of Cape Cod Farm.

Five teams came through the gate for the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship and put on a good show for the crowd. Ultimately, it was His Heirness and Debbie Ecksten, competing at Cleveland for the first time, who trotted away with the title under the direction of Jim McIntosh. Sir Andrew and Margo Coleman have only been a team for a short while and they won the qualifier before returning in the championship to be named the reserve grand champions under the direction of Jim and Jenny Taylor.

Emily Garten added two more wins to the Cape Cod total with her Highpoint’s Syncopated Rhythm. Garten won the junior exhibitor championship and qualifier, and like Wallace and Dubonnet, made the transition from the equitation division with ease.

Fellow Cape Cod rider Chelsea Patterson guided Up In The Heir to the reserve tricolor in the junior exhibitor championship.

Cape Cod wasn’t done scoring blue ribbons in the three-gaited division. Gene Boggs rode Rosemont’s Concerto to the blue in the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic for CC Rider LLC.

The Smooth Operator turned heads in the two-year-old under saddle class. Steve Demjen showcased Dr. Bill Clem’s entry and had lots of support along the way to the winner’s circle.

Watching the beautiful Lesley Anne head to the winner’s circle in the Three-Gaited Park Championship tugged on the heartstrings as so many Cleveland Classic trainers and exhibitors had a long association with Isabel Robson. Even those who didn’t know her watched her show her various champion horses and ponies to top honors at show after show during her long career under the direction of Tom Ferrebee and Gib Marcucci.

Lesley Anne could arguably be called one of the most beautiful mares Robson ever owned and Steve Demjen had her right on the money for the win in both the park championship and qualifier for Alan Robson. Rick Peel rode The King Gentleman to the reserve title for Vernon and Sarah Wise to continue the great show the Wise family enjoyed at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

Maxed Out was also a two-time winner in the park division. Dana Cook Baer rode to both the tricolor in the championship and blue in the qualifier to close out the park division.

A strong group of harness horses came through the gate for the Fine Harness Championship and they put on quite a show.

Unbelievable Blonde and Rene Leon took on Untamed Obsession and Clayton Caldwell, It’s Tea Time with Bob Phillips, Stradivari with Steve Demjen and Shadako with David O’Brien. It’s Tea Time turned in a powerful performance for the win with Phillips for owner Salerno Pontiac. James Salerno had previously driven to the win in the amateur class. Shadako claimed the reserve tricolor in the open championship for William O’Brien.

Jim McIntosh drove Shady Creek’s Nell to the win in the open class in their only appearance for Linda Lewis. Stradivari and Gary Black won the Junior/Limit Fine Harness class for Rhonda Black, which was well-filled with six entries.

Start The Commotion added yet another UPHA win to the Memory Lane total when Jim Taylor piloted the three-year-old to victory in the fine harness classic for Jan Henderson. Taylor also drove Silver and Blue to the win in the two-year-old class for wife Jenny Taylor.

Victory Express was a two-time winner with Gary Altman in the Roadster Pony division to be named the Roadster Pony Grand Champion and open champion. Autumn Wood’s Dinky Babe and Sarah Allred won the AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion for owner Rene Leon before returning in the open championship for the reserve finish.

Becky Buehl drove Little Big Man to the winner’s circle in the amateur class to add another blue to the Memory Lane total.

Fox Hill Midnight, with Matt Schuckert driving for Kristen Gallagher, was the Harness Pony Grand Champion and open champion. Aristocratic Flaire and Kristen Gallagher picked up the win in the amateur class to add another blue to the Debonaire Farms total.

Jim McIntosh’s group had a great time in their inaugural visit to the Cleveland Classic Horse Show and their numerous wins were part of the reason their weekend was so much fun. The Final Contender and Linda Lewis turned in winning performances in the Hackney Pony Championship and amateur qualifier.

Michael Gallagher made it a family affair when he drove BRS Ace In The Hole to the reserve finish in the Hackney Pony Championship from Debonaire Farms.

BRS Tiger Lilly and Kristen Gallagher swept the pleasure driving pony division with both wins under the direction of Matt Schuckert.

Amber Monogram was the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Reserve Grand Champion with Jessica Wise driving for Vernon Wise III and Cheri Wise, after having won the AHHS Pleasure Driving Pony Youth Medallion class under the direction of Rick Peel.

Conduct Unbecoming and Amanda Blaker won the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship after competing in the five-entry qualifier. Harlem’s Gifted Treasure and Jackie Hawkes won the qualifier before returning in the stake to be named the reserve grand champions.

Debbie Ecksten was back in the winner’s circle, but this time it was with Mirrored Dancer in the Park Pleasure Championship which featured four teams. Their move up in the ribbons came after competing in the junior/limit class for Linda Lewis. King’s Harlem Rose and Etta Caldwell were the reserve finishers in the championship.

Amy Haller and her Royale Farm entries had a good show and she rode Callaway’s Glint Of Gold to the blue in the park pleasure qualifier for one of her top ribbons during the weekend. Meadow Soprano and owner Malcolm Cole won the junior/limit class and topped three other teams for the win.

Kalarama’s Patina Of Blue won the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic with owner Kimberly Hayes up.

Two park pleasure driving classes were part of the weekend’s schedule and they were won by two different horses. Catalyst’s Nip O Wine and Joanna Barr won the championship and Hey Heads Up with Steve Demjen won the qualifier before returning in the championship to finish with the reserve tricolor for Mary Strang.

Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood has been on a roll this season with Abby Campbell and followed up his huge win in the 20-entry championship at Indianapolis with the win in the 10-entry Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship at Cleveland Classic. Gene, Kathy and Erin Boggs directed the team to the win in the 10-entry qualifier earlier in the week.

Ms. Electra Glide and Amy Haller put together the reserve effort in the championship and Preferred Investment rounded out the top three with Cyndi Scoggin up.

Jim and Jenny Taylor directed Carianne Gibson and Callaway’s Jess Luvon to the win in the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Championship which was competitive with five teams. Sultan’s Ring Of Fire carried owner Jeanette Blake to the reserve title in the championship and Tender As Iron, with Tara Roe, won the juvenile qualifier for Tom Roe.

Spirit Of Denali and Mary Lou Manis went to the top of the class in the novice rider qualifier.

Razor’s Edge and Cherylyn Howard won the Open English Pleasure class. Howard had a successful weekend at Cleveland with her mounts and posted wins in more than one division.

Profit’s Gentleman and Sarah Wise swept the show pleasure driving division to continue the Wise family’s winning streak under the direction of Rick Peel.

Highpoint’s Golden Flame was the Show Pleasure Driving Reserve Grand Champion with Nichole Sedivec driving under the direction of Steve Demjen.

Flying W Farm's Dance Rhythm and Elizabeth Page won the Country Pleasure Championship for Mary Jane and Elizabeth Page. Diana Pistora's 3 Ring Circus was the reserve grand champion and Highpoint's Fancy Cat won the qualifier. Toree Lewis Hefner and Cat made a single appearance in the country pleasure division for TLH Farm.

Page and Flying W Farm's Dance Rhythm added two more wins to their total when Obenauf awarded them both junior exhibitor wins. Mr. Douglas Fairbanks was the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Reserve Grand Champion with Sarah Dunaway riding for Tom Dunaway.

Vernon and Sarah Wise had yet another winner at Cleveland with CH Cat Cracker. Vernon Wise drove his decorated champion to the winner's circle in both the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Georgia Road, with owner Linda Park driving, was reserve in the championship.

Class's Symbol Of Darkness won the five-entry Western Pleasure Championship, topping a nice group of horses, with Elizabeth Kadey riding for Cherylyn Howard. Nitrous Oxide and Paula Mauerman were the reserve grand champions.

Reedann's High Phlier and Sarah Brandt took the top prize in the western pleasure qualifier.

My Genius Private Secretary and owner Lynn Shaw took the title in the Hunter Championship after having won the Hunter Under Saddle class.

Gone To Rio competed with four other sporty yearlings in the ASHAO Yearling In Hand Classic and took the blue ribbon for owner Alan Caruth. Wendy Lewis showed for the win.

The Saddle Seat Equitation Championship featured three riders and all three performed a workout. Each workout was different from the others' and when Obenauf turned in his card, he named Shana Jo Brown the grand champion, riding Cha Ching, under the direction of Memory Lane. Brown also won the 14-17 qualifier and the UPHA Challenge Cup 14-17 class.

Kimberly Hayes and Callaway's Sterling Prince put together the reserve effort in the championship after having won the NHS Good Hands class.

Emily Deangelis rode Regal Tomahawk to the winner's circle in the 13 and under equitation qualifier. A trio of talented walk and trot riders came through the gate for their 10 and under class and Reba Whitacre trotted out with Breezin's Backdraft as the winner. Whitacre also won the 10 and under Challenge Cup class.

Emily Mielke and Cody earned a blue ribbon and a lot of appreciative applause for their performance in the lead line class for Memory Lane Farm team.

Sarah Taylor was one more example of the top-caliber riders performing at Cleveland Classic. She added the title of UPHA Adult Challenge Cup Champion to her list of wins with Undulata's Time To Shine from Cape Cod Farm. Heather Manring and Be Special 2 finished with the red ribbon in the class for Wheeler Stable.

Horne's Desperado represented Horne Farm in the winner's circle with Marilyn Rutledge when Obenauf named them the winners of the Morgan Park Saddle Championship. PLS Cazanova and Kodi Stebner won the park saddle qualifier before returning in the championship as the reserve winners.

Rutledge and Horne's Desperado also won the Junior Park Saddle class before their championship victory.

HVK Beau Flaire was one of Sandra Benko's stars at Cleveland with three wins in three appearances. Steve Lehr rode to the win in the Morgan English Pleasure Championship and Benko herself rode to victory in both the open class and the amateur class.

Razor's Edge was reserve in the Morgan English Pleasure Championship with Cherylyn Howard up. Regal Tomahawk and Emily Deangelis added to their 13 and under equitation win with the win in the Morgan Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure class for South Point Farm.

King-Lehr's Bravado represented the other half of Sandra Benko's winning pair of Morgans at the show. Obenauf named Benko and Bravado the winners of the Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. CKH Return To Action was reserve in the championship for owner Etta Caldwell. Clayton Caldwell drove for the reserve and took the victory pass drive in the amateur class.

CKH Aim Higher won the Junior Horse Morgan Pleasure Driving class for owner Erin Koenig.

Aquila's Magis and owner Beth Stover put together the winning effort in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship and were followed in the ribbons by CKH Touch of Elegance, winner of the qualifier.

Stover and Aquila's Magis also won the Classic Pleasure Driving class to close out their successful weekend under the direction of Mary Waikman.

Dreammaster Flairity and Kelli Dreher were two time winners in the Morgan Hunter Under Saddle Championship and qualifier to close out the Morgan division.

The Cleveland Classic is just exactly that . . . a classic. It is one of the few remaining outdoor shows in our industry, but one of many shows with a hardworking and dedicated group behind it. Those that go to the Cleveland Classic leave it as devoted fans -- once you go, you're hooked.

Hopefully, new barns will continue to take the plunge and decide that a fun, relaxing and social weekend with friends and horses is the perfect season interlude in the middle of another busy and competitive show season on the way to Freedom Hall.

This highlights the winners of the 2005 Cleveland Classic Horse Show. Complete results can be seen on this web site by going to Statistics and clicking on Show Results.

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